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Tierna Unruh-Enos is the managing editor and associate publisher at The Paper.

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Governor Lujan Grisham has declared a State of Emergency due to threats of riots and insurrection ahead of the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. Fencing has been erected outside the New Mexico Statehouse and other government buildings as officials prepare for political unrest ahead of the upcoming legislative session and the presidential inauguration.

The order cites the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and “credible intelligence” that similar riots could happen at capitol buildings or other government buildings across the country to coincide with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, 2021.

Although the Roundhouse has been closed since the start of the pandemic to stem the spread of the virus, preparations are underway for the start of the 60-day legislative session. Opening day for the session is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 18. Even though most legislative business has been moved to public video conferences, law enforcement has been making plans to bolster security at the Capitol.


State police who oversee the site are coordinating security with local law enforcement agencies to provide a response, should any gatherings become violent. State Police Lt. Mark Soriano told the AP that security plans anticipate potential large-scale demonstrations in the coming days.

Meanwhile, members of the New Mexico National Guard are deploying to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week. They’ll be joining thousands of troops from other states to provide security, communications, medical evacuation and other support.

Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin used a public commission meeting in southern on New Mexico on Jan. 14 to announce his plans to be in Washington on Inauguration Day, reciting the make and model of firearms that he plans to take. Griffin says the election was fraudulent and “stolen by communist China.” Griffin was in the crowd outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, live broadcasting on social media channels as the Capitol was overtaken with rioters.

“When January 20th comes … after that, we’re going to know if we’re going to be a nation that looks like communist China or if we’re going to continue going with the freedom in the heart and the courage and the bravery that has always made America great. This is a spiritual war. Let’s pray for a possible great event on Jan. 20. It’s time for patriots to stand up for our Second Amendment.” Griffin said on the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page. The group, which Griffin co-founded, has since been banned from Twitter.

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